Effects of n-decane substitution on structure and extinction limits of formic acid diffusion flames

Adamu Alfazazi*, Jiajun Li, Chaochen Xu, Et touhami Es-sebbar, Xiaoyuan Zhang, Marwan Abdullah, Mourad Younes, S. Mani Sarathy, Bassam Dally

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Formic acid (FA) is a low-carbon fuel that can be produced from renewable hydrogen (H2) and carbon dioxide (CO2). However, transitioning completely to low carbon fuels might be lengthy and challenging, so it makes sense to gradually introduce low carbon fuels into the energy sector in conjunction with existing fuels. One practical approach could be blending FA with existing fossil fuels, such as kerosene in aviation. This study investigates the behavior of flames comprising FA and its blends with n-decane. The extinction limits of pure FA and FA/n-decane mixtures were measured in a counterflow non-premixed laminar flame setup at various blending ratios. Additionally, the flame structure was studied by measuring temperature and species distribution using probe-based sampling. The results indicate that replacing FA with n-decane in the FA-N2 flame greatly enhances the flame's reactivity. Blending the fuels also led to a decrease in CO2 production in the flame, while increasing the flame temperature and the concentration of H2 and CO species. Experimental results were modeled using an updated FA and n-decane model. The kinetic model agrees with the experimental trends, but slightly overpredicts H2, CH4 species, and flame temperature. The kinetic model was also used to investigate the kinetic coupling between FA and n-decane in non-premixed laminar flames. Kinetic analyses indicate that HOCO and OCHO intermediates play a crucial role in pure FA flames by reacting with active radicals like H and OH to produce CO2 and CO, while in n-decane blended flames, fuel decomposition proceeds through two other pathways leading to H2 and H2O2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number129624
StatePublished - Jan 15 2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank the Saudi Aramco Research and Development Center for funding this project under research agreement number RGC/3/3837-01-01. We extend our gratitude to David S. White and the entire support staff of KAUST CCRC for their invaluable technical assistance.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Counterflow flames
  • Flame extinction
  • Formic acid
  • Non-premixed flames

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


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